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Diabetes Basics

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A National Epidemic

The statistics are alarming…

  • Diabetes affects 29.1 million people, or 9.3% of the US population.
  • Of these, 21 million people are diagnosed, and another 8.1 million people or 27.8% of people affected by diabetes are undiagnosed.
  • Among US residents aged 65 years and older, 11.8 million, or 25.9%, had diabetes (diagnosed and undiagnosed).
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States.
  • Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Each year, the costs for diabetes, its complications, and associated diseases continue to rise. In addition to the tremendous toll diabetes takes on individuals and families, diabetes has a significant impact in the workplace. People with diagnosed diabetes, on average, have medial expenditures that are more than 2 times higher than those without diabetes. The national cost of diabetes in the United States in 2012 was more than $245 billion, up from $174 billion in 2007.

Employers are in a unique position to address diabetes through prevention and management education. Employees spend more than one third of their lives at work and are more likely to participate in health education, nutrition, and exercise activities offered in the workplace. Everyone benefits when employers work with their employees who have diabetes, or are at risk for the disease, to improve productivity and lower health costs, as well as help employees stay in good physical and mental health.

Learn more about how many people in your community have diabetes at the CDC Information Site.